I’m sick of it

By Sheila Marcelo

By now, you’ve probably seen the TIME magazine cover featuring a mom breastfeeding her preschool-aged son. It’s attention-grabbing… to say the least.

While my first instinct is shock and pity for the future teenage boy who will never live this cover down, I do see the beauty in a mother’s ability to provide food and nourishment for her child – while creating an intense bond. But doing so on the cover of a national magazine seems to objectify the natural sweetness of a tender moment.

But here’s what I’m really sick of. I can’t take the Mommy Wars anymore. And by asking their audience “Are You Mom Enough?,” the TIME editors seem to be feeding into women’s insecurities – which is exactly what gives some magazines a bad name. They are pitting moms against each other, when we should be working together as mothers who are inspiring and building the next generation.

Attachment Moms, Working Moms, Stay-at-Home Moms, Permissive Moms, Tiger Moms, Helicopter Moms… let’s take a stand. Let’s agree to disagree. We all want the same thing. We are working to create well cared for, kind, loving, hardworking children. We want strong relationships with our kids. We want them to respect their elders, say “thank you” to strangers, and give seniors an extra hand. We all want them to feel loved and grow up to give this love in return. We want them to be strong and confident, but listen and learn from an opposing viewpoint. And we want them to know how much we love them.

So whether you breastfeed, co-sleep, wear a sling or push a carriage; whether you work, stay at home, have a nanny, home school, or spank, I am promising that I won’t judge you. I won’t judge because I know you are just trying to do your best. We’re in this together. And if we tear each other down, we’re just wasting too much energy. Energy that we could spend on our families.

Sheila Marcelo is founder and CEO of Care.com, an Internet business that connects families with care providers for their children, pets, the elderly, housekeeping and more. She is on the board of PhilDev – formerly Ayala Foundation USA – a nonprofit that promotes “diaspora philanthropy.” This essay originally appeared on Sheila’s Blog and is reprinted with permission.

One Comment

  1. M. Matthews wrote:

    I think what you had to say about Motherhood is worth reading about. But I think the Times Magazine cover of a mother breast feeding her teen son (they may be just paid models), was done in bad taste.

    I will never buy Times Magazine. I urge all of you who may read this comment to do the same.

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